One of the main things that stop a small business from growing is the business owner. There are a number of reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that an exact replica of themselves does not exist anywhere in the world. Failure to recognise this reality manifests itself in two primary ways and can seriously stunt the growth of any small enterprise.
Firstly, the business owner believes (and in most cases is probably right) that no one can do the job as well as they can. After all, it is their business which they started in their spare room five years earlier and have single-handedly built into the mini-empire (albeit a stuttering one) that it is today. This means, however, that the owner tries to do everything themselves ‘in’ the business, hasn’t got time to work ‘on’ the business, and becomes overburdened by it every single day.
The second problem arises when the owner realises that they can’t do everything themselves and starts recruiting. Naturally they look for someone like them but, as we have already established, that person doesn’t exist; so they become disappointed, frustrated and caught up in perpetual performance management.
It’s not what you do but the way that you do it…
The answer lies in the simple word and concept known as ‘process.’ A well structure; tried, tested and proven system is a sure fire way to make pretty much anyone able to work just like you. Think about it! As long as a person has the necessary skills to carry out a task all you need to do is ensure they understand ‘how’ you need them to do it! This ‘process’ is a set of ordered instructions that dictates the actions and decisions that need to be followed in any given circumstance. It is really simple.
Big Macs do not taste any different when the manager goes on holiday; in fact, they taste pretty much the same anywhere you go in the world. That is because every employee tasked with making them is taught the same method. As a business owner, it is only when you release yourself from the pressure, time restraint and thought of doing every job in your business that you can start to focus on growth.
But it takes too much time to create a process and train people up!
This could not be further from a ‘catch 22’ situation. In those scenarios, you are stuck between two decisions or challenges where leaving either one has cost implications or attending to one negates the benefits of the other. Creating a great process and training people well, even if you don’t have the time, is more like an investment into a future-proof business decision.
It is the old parable of the two men on a challenge to see who could cut down the most trees in one day, using blunt axes. The story goes that the guy who spent the first three hours sharpening his axe went on to cut down double the number of trees than the one who just started hacking away.
What task is stealing your time and causing you stress today that you could systemise and give to someone else to do?